The decision to breastfeed is a family decision. Fathers, grandparents, and extended family often provide crucial support to young children and breastfeeding mothers. Different families involve different family members in a baby's care. Talk with families about who will provide support after the baby is born. Remember that all members of the family need information and an opportunity to share their experiences and feelings about breastfeeding.
Fathers play a particularly important role. Research shows that fathers, when they have the facts about breastfeeding and its impact, are strong supporters of breastfeeding and breastfeeding mothers. They often want to know the many ways they can bond with their babies, and how they can help with breastfeeding. The following materials are designed just for dads:
- Fathers Supporting Breastfeeding
- Breastfeeding Success: What Dads Can Do
- Support Your Partner
- Dads Supporting Breastfeeding
Grandparents or extended family members often provide support for families with young children. They can have a big influence on a mother's decision to breastfeed, and can provide important encouragement to a family after a baby is born. This is particularly true for teen parents. The following materials are designed for grandparents and other extended family members:
Of course, there may be cases when family members are not supportive of breastfeeding. In those instances, it is particularly important for staff to offer support. You can help mothers feel good about their decision to breastfeed, empower them to advocate for themselves, and help answer questions and address challenges.